PROSPER MAGAZINE: SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION
BEST PRACTICES FOR TRAINING STAFF DURING A CRISIS
During these difficult times, many are wondering: What should we be doing for training?
Some businesses are busy, so much so that training time is being squeezed. Meanwhile, firms with reduced production are finding they have more time than ever to get the training done to keep staff productive. Finally, those who have sent staff home are either maximising training time or depending on their work from home policies, have postponed training for now.
However, postponing employee training can be at the detriment of both staff and the business.
According to the Training Industry Report, US data during, and after the Great Recession, showed a significant drop in overall training expenditures in 2009 and 2010, followed by a surge in 2011 and a drop back to 2008 levels in 2012.
What this tells us is that if companies cut their training budgets now, they are only delaying their investment, not netting a saving—especially since the current crisis will require a larger skill shift than the 2008 financial crisis did.
Prosper spoke to Wendyanne Shapiro from Lotus Flower Consultancy, a leading training provider offering specialised training and personal development programmes, she said, "Using a training budget to make skill building a key strategic lever for adapting to the next normal, is something firms should be looking at now."
"I would advise companies not to waste two to three years and forego the efficiency and resilience they could develop now. What they can and should do is focus on the resilience of their learning ecosystem: make it both more digital, including in-sync digital components to replace in-person ones, and more accessible to their employees.
"I would advise they leverage the ready-made learning journeys and objects of external partners, showing that they are investing in an employee's future promotion and growth by providing long-term training will go a long way towards keeping staff motivated and engaged through times of trial, and signals the promise of a return to normalcy before long.
"And for those who have staff that are still working at full capacity, it's important to remember that sooner rather than later, they will need a break, especially after this crisis is over, scheduling some training time would be helpful for many reasons and can be used to destress and refresh their minds."
With more staff working from home than ever before, and for the foreseeable future, scheduling some training time can ensure skills are not eroded, an extended time away from work may mean the less practical application of those skills.
Maintaining a firm training schedule will also mean productivity and downtime will be less affected when work schedules return to normal. If staff are allowed time to train when things slow, the investment will pay off with immediate productivity gains when things stabilise.
It is well known that nothing beats the real practical skills learned on the floor, but simulation-based training is as close as it gets. Online training, which can be done from anywhere, is perfect for times like these.
Most importantly, training involves building the troubleshooting skills that will become more necessary in reducing downtime when work finally returns to normal.
Wendyanne Shapiro is an award-winning development coach, working with organisations around the world, including the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, her coaching helps to drive change and improve performance.
For further details on training courses with the Black Country Chamber, please contact:
Kristian Jones 01902 912305.